Recently, our local newspaper reported that a high school sophomore told a commission studying student performance standards that she couldn’t understand why she had to study history, considering that her career goal was to be a lawyer. Below is my open letter to that student.

Dear Sophomore,

Ever since your comments appeared in the paper, I’ve been thinking of your plight and the problems you are having with the school system. When you said that it’s dumb to study Julius Caesar because you want to be a lawyer, and you aren’t going to need that stuff in the courtroom, I can sympathize with you. History is water under the bridge. No sense trying to learn from other people’s mistakes. I bet those teachers of yours even want you to study math, when everybody knows that you sure won’t have to use that in court. And why bother with geography? If the lady selected to represent our state at the Presidential Inaugural Ball doesn’t know where Washington, D.C. is, why should you? You know, I bet those darn teachers even want you to read books. Why? If you want to know something, it’s all there with a tap on your iPhone. Besides, as you said, it’s a lot more fun, to watch TV.

But you know something, soph? Law schools don’t have enough room to accept all the students who apply. So they wind up taking the best students, and those scoring highest on the various scholastic aptitude tests. And when the time comes for you to take those tests, your iPhone isn’t going to be there to tap. The applicants who get in to law school are going to be those who know something about history, know that our nation’s capital is not somewhere on the West Coast, read books, and may even have heard of Julius Caesar. But cheer up, soph. You won’t get in to law school, but so what? You can always watch Bachelorette with your friends, right?


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